The Owls improved their winning streak to seven games with a 5-2 win over Youngstown State on Saturday at Greensburg Racquet Club in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.
This season, the Owls are 9-1. After 10 matches last season, the Owls were 5-5.
“We just focus on each match as it comes,” coach Steve Mauro said. “I’ve never mentioned the streak to my team. We just focus on one match at a time and that’s how we’re going to continue to do it throughout the year.”
Mauro credits his team’s start to his first-year players.
“We had a really good recruiting class this year between Artem Kapshuk, Uldazimir Dorash and Florian Mayer,” Mauro said. “With the combination of the three good freshmen and the three or four returning seniors, it’s a good mix… The coaching staff has been working hard to have a good game plan before every practice, and so far everything we’ve done has worked well.”
For the third straight match, the Owls have won every doubles match against their opponents. Dorash and Mayer defeated Bassem El Mekawi and Gabriel Tolesani 6-3, bringing the duo’s win streak to five games.
“We figured they would be a good combination because they work well together,” Mauro said. “One is good up at the net and the other one is good at setting the other one up.”
In single matches, the Owls won four out of the six. Mayer defeated Gabriel Tolesani 6-3, 6-1, while junior Filip Stipcic beat Agustin Reyes 6-1, 7-5.
Kapshuk, who is now 8-1 in singles this year—second best record on the team behind Dorash (9-2)—defeated Matthew Kritzinger in a 7-6, 7-6 double tiebreaker match.
“Even though [Kapshuk] is a freshmen he fights really hard, and you know every time he’s the on court he’s going to fight for every point,” Mauro said. “I was really happy the way his energy helped pick up the spirits of our team.”
Senior Santiago Canete—who was out of the lineup last weekend against the University of Connecticut due to injury—rebounded with a 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 victory over Hugo Morth to make him 6-3 in singles on the season.
Mauro said Canete experienced some soreness in his wrist after the match, and they’re hoping he’ll play Sunday against Saint Francis University.
Tom Ignudo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Ignudo5